241 – Lenten Loss – Intention on the Spiritual Journey

I couple of weeks ago I was with a congregation and we were thinking together about something Paul wrote to the folks at Philippi,

“… whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3.7-8 NRSV)

As I was contemplating his words, I could not help but connect them with this Lenten season and the article from Christianity Today I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

Many things we “give-up” for Lent (and even practices we might add) often are on the surface of our lives. They may be small things, or actions, or attitudes, or even more important things and actions and attitudes, but still often exist on the surface of our lives and our encounters with others.

Paul went deeper than that. He went to the things that give me his identity,

“circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.” (vv 5-6)

How do we go past the surface of our lives, to the deep things of our identity, our souls, if you will?

Is a Lenten practice a good place to begin? Probably so.

Are “spiritual practices” and “spiritual disciplines” helpful? Sure.

But we can let all those things stay surface activities that do not touch our souls.

Where have you been touched deeply this Lenten season? What has been brought to your awareness that needs your deep attention?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}


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